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Tue, 09 Feb 2016
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

1,747 village roads closed due to heavy snowfall in eastern Turkey

© Anadolu Agency
Snow covered park is seen after heavy snowfall as weather freezes, in Kayseri, Turkey on February 8, 2016.
Heavy snowfall, which started falling in several provinces across eastern Turkey on Saturday, caused the cancellation of many flights and led to the closure of roads, the Cihan news agency reported on Sunday.

A total of 1,747 village roads were closed due to heavy snowfall and storms in eastern Turkey. The roads include 791 in Erzurum, 362 in Muş, 262 in Kars, 252 in Ağrı, 50 in Erzincan and 13 in Ardahan. Snow reached a depth of 95 centimeters in central Muş, 77 centimeters in Ağrı city center and 32 in central Kars. Teams from the Special Provincial Directorate are working to clear snow from the roads.

The lowest temperatures in the region were recorded in Ağrı (minus 10 degrees Celsius), Erzincan (minus 9 degrees), Erzurum (minus 6 degrees), Kars (minus 4 degrees), Ardahan (minus 3 degrees) and Iğdır (minus 2 degrees).

Several flights to and from Muş and Erzurum on Sunday were cancelled due to the harsh weather conditions.

Cloud Precipitation

Southern England, Wales hit by Storm Imogen

© Roger Askew/REX/Shutterstock
Storm Imogen hits Clevedon, near Bristol
A heavy storm has swept some parts of the UK leaving thousands of properties severely battered.

Storm Imogen sent 100 mile per hour winds and 60-foot waves hurtled towards the British coastline, hitting much of southern England and Wales. The damage was more serious for the residents of one apartment building in Bristol, where tree branches had actually come hurtling through their walls and ceilings.

Along the coast, waves hit with such force that locals were forced to take shelter in whatever way they could.

There were severe delays and cancellations on roads and railways and on ferry crossings. Though the storm has passed, forecasters warn that high tides and large waves are expected to continue along the south coast.

The Environment Agency has more than 50 flood warnings in place, meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

Black Cat

Leopard attack leaves 6 injured at school in India

© Sampath Kumar G.P.
The leopard attacking Sanjay Gubbi, a wildlife conservationist.
A suburban school in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru had an unexpected visit from a male leopard on Sunday morning. Since it was a holiday, there were no children in the school, but the ten-hour-long effort to capture the animal left six people injured.

CCTV footage showed the eight-year-old leopard first entering the Vibgyor International School at around 4 a.m. The security guards alerted the police soon after, but the wild cat escaped to hide in the nearby bushes. After it re-entered the school, the scared leopard mauled several people, including conservation scientist Sanjay Gubbi, forest department employee Benny Maurius and a photojournalist. Security cameras also showed it brawling with a man near a swimming pool.
WATCH: Leopard strays into Vibgyor School campus in Kundalahalli (Bengaluru)https://t.co/bt1bLI1I8P

— ANI (@ANI_news) February 7, 2016


Jackals attack at least 150 people over 3 months in Kashmir, India

© DavidA99/flickr
Indian Golden Jackal
Despite injuring several people and devouring livestock and poultry during past two months here in North Kashmir's Kupwara district, Wildlife department authorities have failed to check jackals from roaming in residential areas.

During the past two months, jackals have injured at least 50 persons in Tikipora, Sogam, Diver and adjoining areas. In the latest attack a pack of jackals mauled 3-year-old Moheeb and 4- year-old Ayan Zahoor at Lone Mohalla Sogam.

In a similar case attack Aasia Jan (12) and her 8-year-old brother Shabir Ahmad of Tikipora were brutally injured outside their house."The population of jackals in our area has swelled tremendously and they are on a rampage in human habitations," said Munawar Ahmad Khan of Diver. He added that large packs of jackals have been prowling in areas including Margi, Tikipora, Andurbug, Diver, Thandoosa, Lalpora, Dorsa, Chandigam, Sogam, Gundmanchar, Kuligam, Maidanpora, Cheepora, Kandhar, Shalagund, Nard, Sivan, Khurhama, Sivar and Sivan, and attack whatever comes their way.


El Misti volcano waking up from nearly 600-year slumber in Peru

© Alamy
A view of El Misti from the city of Arequipa, taken on August 16, 2015.
Peru's typically snow-capped El Misti volcano, also known as Putina, is showing signs of awakening from a period of relative slumber that goes back to the 15th century.

While gas emissions have occurred since eruptions around 1440 and 1470, the volcano is now showing signs of rising magma.

El Misti is considered the most dangerous volcano in Peru, with about 1 million people around Arequipa under threat.

Alarm Clock

Strong 5.7 magnitude earthquake felt throughout New Zealand

People reported feeling the quake from Dunedin to Auckland.
A strong 5.7 magnitude earthquake has rocked central New Zealand.

The 1.38pm quake was 35km south-east of St Arnaud, Nelson, at a depth of 65km.

Geonet duty seismologist Anna Kaiser said the shake was felt throughout the upper South Island and lower North Island.

"It was widely felt from Taranaki to Canterbury," she said.

There were also five reports from Auckland and one from Otago.

"It was a decent shake," she said.

"With that level of shaking, it would rattle things around but we wouldn't expect major structural damage."

People have reported feeling the slow-rolling quake in the lower North Island and upper South Island.

Cloud Lightning

Giant Royal Caribbean ship damaged in 'extreme' storm will return to port

© Roy Riley /sbw-photo
One of the world's newest and biggest cruise ships headed back to its home port Monday after a powerful storm damaged the vessel and left some passengers shaken.

The fierce weather that struck Royal Caribbean's 168,666-ton Anthem of the Seas on Sunday forced the captain to confine passengers to their cabins until the storm passed early Monday.

The cruise line, in a statement sent to USA TODAY, suggested the "extreme wind and sea conditions" that hit as the ship sailed south from the New York area to Port Canaveral, Fla., were unexpected, noting that the wind speeds were higher than what was forecast.

"The captain told everyone this morning that the day was among his most challenging — if not his most challenging — at sea," said Robert Huschka, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network. Huschka is on board the ship with his family.

Four passengers were injured during the event, though none seriously, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez. There are 4,529 passengers and 1,616 crew members on board, she said.


New eruption at Santiaguito volcano in Guatemala

© Twitter
Santiaguito volcano in Guatemala
A new explosion at Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala was recorded on February 7, 2016.

Look at the pictures of the large ash and gas clouds engulfing the sky. Powerful.

Santiaguito volcano

Santiaguito volcano
Here a first video of the volcanic activity of Santiaguito volcano in Guatemala:

Bizarro Earth

Strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near Papua New Guinea

© Google
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 has struck off the town of Panguna in Papua New Guinea, seismologists say, but no tsunami warnings have been issued.

The earthquake, at 2:19 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered about 94 kilometers (58 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island. It struck about 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake.

Shaking was felt on nearby islands but there was no immediate word on damage or casualties from the remote region. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from Tuesday's earthquake and no tsunami alerts have been issued.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially measured the earthquake at 6.7 before it was downgraded to 6.3 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Earthquakes in the mountainous nation of Papua New Guinea, which is on the so-called 'Pacific Ring of Fire', do rarely cause damage or casualties as most structures in the region are light and flexible. This allows them to bend, rather than snap, when a major earthquake occurs.


Researchers discover native malaria parasite in American white-tailed deer

© Ellen Martinsen
White-tailed deer in the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.
Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds—when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in the mosquitoes, that she couldn't identify.

By chance, she had discovered a malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei—that infects white-tailed deer. It's the first-ever malaria parasite known to live in a deer species and the only native malaria parasite found in any mammal in North or South America. Though white-tailed deer diseases have been heavily studied—scientist hadn't noticed that many have malaria parasites.

Martinsen and her colleagues estimate that the parasite infects up to twenty-five percent of white-tailed deer along the East Coast of the United States. Their results were published February 5 in Science Advances.